Belfast Telegraph

Louis Walsh set to exit X Factor

Louis Walsh has revealed that he is to bow out of The X Factor after the next series.

The 61-year-old Irish star has been on the panel of the hit ITV talent show since it launched in 2004.

But he told TV Times: "I'm happy this is going to be my last year.

"I've been judging X Factor for 10 years so I've done it all."

He added: "It was never in my plan to be on TV but Simon (Cowell) put me there. I'm very grateful to him but I need my life back!"

Louis, who helped steer Westlife and Boyzone to success, said he wanted to focus on managing bands.

"I'm going to be managing Shane Filan from Westlife and I'm putting together a new boyband", he said.

On The X Factor, Louis, who was briefly replaced by choreographer Brian Friedman before being reinstated, mentored series two winner Shayne Ward, boyband JLS and Jedward.

This year's judges - Gary Barlow, Sharon Osbourne, Nicole Scherzinger and Louis - have already begun filming auditions.

Sharon, who quit the show in 2008, has said she has no plans to extend her X Factor comeback for more than one series.

ITV's chief executive Adam Crozier recently said he is confident that the show has plenty of mileage left.

"It is going to be around for quite some time", he said. "It remains a very important programme for ITV."

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